10 Business Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Frank Underwood

Here's a look at ten Frank Underwood quotes, and underlying business lessons, every entrepreneur can learn from.


  1. “It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission. For myself, I seek neither one. I do what it takes.”

    (Tweet This) This may work in politics. But in business, it’s best to take the less obvious road. As VC Mark Suster explains, “I have always believed in the saying, ‘It’s better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.’ It’s a way of life. It’s not about abusing situations but about knowing when to push the boundaries. It’s about knowing that the overwhelming number of people in life are naysayers and ‘no sayers’ and sometimes you gotta just roll the dice …”

    Are there entrepreneurs that will do whatever it takes? Sure. And what do I think about that? “I couldn’t possibly comment.”

  2. “One thing you can always count on: the inevitability of battle.”

    (Tweet This) Do you think you don’t have competition? Think again. Think you’ll never have to do battle? Think once more. This is one of many lessons they don’t teach in business school. If your business merely exists, someone will have something to say about it. If you sneeze, someone will be offended … c‘est la vie. The business reality is this: don’t pick a fight if you don’t have to, but when you must declare war, “Forward!” is the battle cry.

  3. “I like to back people who want to succeed.”

    (Tweet This) This is the ideal. Investors, venture capitalists, angels, super angels, and family and friends want to back people who plan to succeed. Do you plan for small business success? Because we all know, if you fail to plan — you plan to fail.

  4. “I will not be cornered into making promises I can’t deliver.”

    (Tweet This) Keep your brand promise. Simple. Right? We’ve all heard (and likely said), “under-promise and over-deliver.” But as conventional wisdom would have it. Not so simple. Branding and marketing specialist John Morgan explains why over-delivering is good, but under-promising is deadly. “It’s not the commitment part that is trouble,” he explains.

    “You must make promises you can keep. This is common sense at its best … It’s the ‘under-promise’ part that is deadly advice. It gives people the impression that they can get away with offering the bare minimum. Let me tell you, no one is getting excited about a weak promise.”

  5. “You had me at…well, no, not yet. Do more.”

    (Tweet This) Create value. Create value that lasts. Self explanatory.

  6. “Run the marathon, not the sprint.”

    (Tweet This) “For most people, running a marathon falls into one of two categories: Either you do it, or you gawk at those who do it.” Entrepreneurs, well … we fall into the first category. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. To build a successful business you will need endurance. But building endurance takes time. Be patient and execute non-stop. Train with these principles in mind.

Now, get back to building your empire. “You seem far too relaxed. You shouldn’t be.” (Frank Underwood)


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